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Opinion on WW2 Jump wing and general question


skir
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Here is a wing that I picked up and cannot find this hallmark anywhere. My question is it a WW2 era wing? In my search for the hallmark I read in a few places that only solid back para wings are WW2 era. Is that true? Thanks in advance

MVC-001S.JPG

MVC-002S.JPG

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triplecanopy

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Gemsco was a prolific maker of military insignia. They moved their hallmark around numerous times making many slightly different variations. What you have looks to me like one of their WWII era parachute badges. Another variation. Nice find.

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I don't know for sure but there is the possibility that this is a post war paratrooper wing.  Like triplecanopy mentioned GEMSCO had a number of basic pin back sterling paratrooper wing variants (see photo) made during the war and after the war.  If you look at the wing second down from the left it is not a solid back piece but slightly dished so a different die was used to make this wing.  Your wing which is at the bottom right is not a solid back piece either but the chute and inner perimeter of the wings are dished out so a different die was used to make this wing as well.  So why would GEMSCO use at least three different dies to make their paratrooper wings during WW2?    It is more likely that GEMSCO contracted out with other insignia companies to make them batches of paratrooper wings using other dies from the contracting manufacture however ordered with their (GEMSCO) company name.  I have also attached photographs of a senior and master paratrooper wing which are unmarked but look like they used this same die.  In addition I came across this unmarked basic pin back paratrooper wing that looks like it was made using the same die.  So is the company that made these for GEMSCO still making them?  The senior and master wings are clearly post war which is why I thought I'd throw this out there for further discussion.  One thing I noticed is that they all seem to use the same pin back assembly except the clutch back piece.  In addition there seems to be a slightly raised circular indexing point for the egg shaped clasp.

 

 

Un Gemsco post-7548-1290288034.jpg

Unmarked C Polk (4).JPG

Unmarked C Polk (3).JPG

Unmarked C Polk (1).jpg

Unmarked C Polk (2).jpg

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So who was making these wings for GEMSCO and may still be making them or sold the dies off and someone else is making them now.   I've come across two hallmarked paratrooper wings that seem to have used the mentioned dies.  One is the C. Polk Company and the other is the Silverman Brothers Corporation.  They both look post war.  

 

 

 

 

Un C. Polk Company NY (4).jpg

Un C. Polk Company NY (2).jpg

Un 2S Sterling Clutch Back Hollow Back (2).jpg

Un 2S Sterling Clutch Back Hollow Back (3).jpg

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T,

I can see at first glance they do appear the same but do see some differences that I believe they are not the same die. The senior wing,on the reverse where the shroud lines converge is square  rather than coming to a point. On the master,the reverse canopy is a curved line rather than straight . Not to argue that my wing is not a post war, just do not believe they are from the same die. Why did Gemsco make so many different styles is anyone's guess.

My reason to ask about the hollow back wings is that in my search for that particular hallmark,  I read on a few sites that made the statement that only solid back Para wings were true WW2 wings. I have been collecting Para wings for the past 30 years and have wings from WW2 groups that are hollow. I quess the wings could have been added post war, but I had never paid that much attention. Have not gotten a clear answer on the question, and really would like to know.

 

 

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Looking at the reverse of the clutch back wings, the hollow area of the shoulder goes all the way to the canopy ,mine does not .So again do not believe is from the same die.

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I don't believe that to be the case especially the theater made paratrooper wings made by J.R. Gaunt, Ludlow London and S.S. LTD. B. which were only made during the War in the UK.  All these UK made wings have hollow chutes.  There is an unmarked Italian made paratrooper wing and an Australian made paratrooper wing by Wallace Bishop that were only made during the war and have hollow chutes.  Now as for the US manufactured paratrooper wings made of sterling silver and pin back most of the WW2 era pieces are solid back but for instance in the photo grouping of GEMSCO wings the one already mentioned in the middle on the left is not a true solid back but I believe a WW2 era piece.  There are three other US companies that I believe made sterling pin back paratrooper wings with hollow chutes and they are Bell Trading Post, Norsid Company and Uriscraft.  

 

As for the differences you mentioned in the die I believe your piece wasn't struck as hard during the manufacturing process as the almost identical one on the lower right in the GEMSCO grouping as I can't see them using two different dies. 

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T, 

Thanks for the info on the marked para wings ,it does appear that hollow backed,at least US mfg marked ,were made in WW2. I quess I should have been more clear but what about just the US issue sterling marked wings? For every  mfg. marked wing there are 10 just sterling marked ones.

I remember years ago there were some that said that insiced sterling marks were post war or outright fakes.

Just trying to figure out if the hollow back group think is correct,or just current urban legend. 

 

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10 hours ago, Tonomachi said:

 

 

As for the differences you mentioned in the die I believe your piece wasn't struck as hard during the manufacturing process as the almost identical one on the lower right in the GEMSCO grouping as I can't see them using two different dies. 

Can you post a closer pic of your wing, from what I can see there are clear differences such as placement marking of the area for pin catch( Yours is much larger and closer to outside edge of wing),thickness of the areas of hollow, and alinement of details.  

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I believe that the first wing posted is a post WWII wing. The odd cut marks on the back side of the canopy make me wonder if it might have been a Senior or Master wing that was converted to a basic badge. I do not believe it to be a WWII period wing.

 

Allan

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3 hours ago, skir said:

T, 

Thanks for the info on the marked para wings ,it does appear that hollow backed,at least US mfg marked ,were made in WW2. I quess I should have been more clear but what about just the US issue sterling marked wings? For every  mfg. marked wing there are 10 just sterling marked ones.

I remember years ago there were some that said that insiced sterling marks were post war or outright fakes.

Just trying to figure out if the hollow back group think is correct,or just current urban legend. 

 

Here are four different basic sterling pin back paratrooper wings that have hollow backs and I believe are considered WW2 era graduation wings.  So I don't believe that all WW2 era graduation wings were solid back sterling pin back pieces. 

 

 

IMG_3499.JPG

IMG_3500.JPG

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Here is one of my favorite basic sterling pin back paratrooper wings where the wings and chute are hollow which probably was done to save silver and reduces the weight of the piece.  These are getting harder and harder to find so I'm not sure if they were graduation wings or private purchase wings.

 

 

IMG_3497.JPG

IMG_3498.JPG

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2 hours ago, skir said:

Can you post a closer pic of your wing, from what I can see there are clear differences such as placement marking of the area for pin catch( Yours is much larger and closer to outside edge of wing),thickness of the areas of hollow, and alinement of details.  

I don't own the specific wing in the photograph but I have one just like it in my collection.  In my opinion your wing and this wing were made from the same die as the pin back assemblies look the same as well as the placement of the hallmarks.  I don't think that GEMSCO use two different dies when they stamped these wings on their press but they simply didn't use the same amount of force on your wing during the stamping process which is why it lacks the hollowing upward beyond the shoulders of the wings.

 

 

IMG_3495.JPG

IMG_3501.JPG

IMG_3502.JPG

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2 hours ago, Tonomachi said:

Here are four different basic sterling pin back paratrooper wings that have hollow backs and I believe are considered WW2 era graduation wings.  So I don't believe that all WW2 era graduation wings were solid back sterling pin back pieces. 

 

 

IMG_3499.JPG

IMG_3500.JPG

T,

That answers my question.The above pictured wings are the majority of wings I have found in groupings .Good to know. The surprising thing to me is how little is written on these wings and how scarce info on them is online. When trying to find info on the logo on my original posted wing, found tons of backside  pictures of British mfg wings but hardly any US wings. Thanks so much for the info. and all the fantastic pictures of your wings. 

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There is a separate pinned thread on jump wings here on the Wing Forum. You might find some maker marks there.

 

Allan

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  • 4 months later...

If you use the list of manufactures of US metal emblems provided in another thread (see link below) the S21 marking or what they refer to as the alpha-numeric manufacture's code means that this paratrooper wing was made by N. G. Slater Corp., New York, NY sometime after 1965.  The GI marking is the Institute of Heraldry's certification mark meaning Government Issue.  I don't know what year they began requiring the addition of GI on all insignia.  The great information on this thread says that the Quartermaster General instituted these manufacture's hallmark codes as a quality control measure in their efforts to oversee the various insignia companies producing insignia for the military.   I believe this paratrooper wing is already obsolete as I believe everyone is now required to wear only Stay Brite insignia that has that ugly mirror finish look that never needs polishing.  I don't know what year they made the wearing of only Stay Brite insignia mandatory.

 

 

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5thwingmarty

The same dies for many Charles Polk, Silverman Brothers and Vanguard Air Force wings.  I don't think anyone can say whether the dies were passed from company to company or it there was just a common supplier for all these various companies.  Gemsco may have been another one in the chain.

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